By Günter Figal
Connecting aesthetic adventure with our adventure of nature or with different cultural artifacts, Aesthetics as Phenomenology makes a speciality of what paintings capability for cognition, reputation, and affect—how paintings alterations our daily disposition or habit. Günter Figal engages in a penetrating research of the instant at which, in our contemplation of a piece of artwork, response and idea confront one another. For these proficient within the visible arts and for extra informal audience, Figal unmasks artwork as a decentering adventure that opens extra chances for figuring out our lives and our world.
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Extra resources for Aesthetics as Phenomenology: The Appearance of Things
It is obvious for many artworks that they do not fall under one type. All forms of theater combine poetry with the imagistic character [Bildcharakter] of the stage; in opera, this occurs under the dominance of music. Word and image come together in titles and in writing, especially when the latter is a moment of the image itself, as in Paul Klee, Cy Twombly, or Anselm Kiefer. Lyric poetry is word art and sound art at the same time; in general, the sound of language belongs to poetry even when it is spoken and not sung.
The reflection of hermeneutical concepts does not arise from the activity of the one who interprets. The concepts are initially reflected by the text and turned toward the interpreter. It is only in this way that the latter can ponder them. The experience of artworks is hermeneutical; they must be interpreted, and in this way they can be conceptually determined according to what they are. But the experience of art exceeds normal hermeneutical experience in that the significance and meaning essentially lead to astonishment.
That, in turn, is only possible if the works are lifted out of the world that they open up. Then the artworks belong to the world because they do not belong in the world. Heidegger’s notion of the opening up of a world, however, is very specific. When he speaks of an opening or even of a “setting up” (30) of a world, he is thinking of the opening of a historical Dasein in its totality, one that is essentially oriented to the divine. The world is “that which is always non-object-like, to which we are subordinate as long as the courses of birth and death, blessing and curse [keep us] carried away into Being”: “Where the essential decisions of our history fall, are taken over or abandoned by us, are misjudged or newly questioned, that is where the world worlds” (30–31).
Aesthetics as Phenomenology: The Appearance of Things by Günter Figal